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Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Long Wait for an Answer

For years I've been working with a group of individuals that don't adequately respond to questions. This has been painstaking since the time between asking and getting a direct, understandable answer is often weeks. The reason this is so painful is that there is so much opportunity lost within those weeks.

For example, recently I posed a question, a question that impacts the work I plan to do with students. I received a response that the question would be forwarded to others. Then about two weeks after that I received an answer, but the answer was not understandable so I had to ask another questions, and now I am waiting for that answer.

All of these questions lie in a similar area of work, an area for which I see tremendous potential for student investment, contribution, and growth. I notice that children who are privileged have ready access to this area of learning, but children without as much privilege or leadership in this area are left behind.  I know that this gap contributes to the opportunity gap that contributes to variability in student scores and later opportunity/success in life. That's why I care about this area of work.

Yet for years I've been met with one steep wall after another as I attempt to integrate this teaching/learning effort into my work in meaningful ways. What's a teacher to do?

I will do the following:
  • Invest in teaching/learning areas where there is positive support.
  • Continue to advocate for betterment in the area that is blocked through other channels at the state, union, and advocacy levels.
  • Be patient as I know, in time, what I wish for will be true since multiple other school systems are investing good time and effort in this regard and getting strong results. This will grow to a level where it will certainly positively impact my efforts too.
In general, in areas where the teacher's voice is left out or minimal, less good, positive change occurs. When educators are fully integrated into the decision making and good work possible for children, betterment occurs. I honor those leaders and colleagues who support the ready, positive, and consistent integration of all stakeholders' voices and choice in matters that impact student success. I know that I'm not alone in this regard.